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I've been doing my small part ... since COVID, I've spent about $1500 on AC airfares.

That's domestic, only between two safe provinces. I would not fly anywhere else for the foreseeable future.
 

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Usually head back to Newfoundland for 3 weeks or so but that is not likely this year. There is some talk about maybe letting some other visitors in later in July but I am not counting on that happening. Maybe people that own property IE: seasonal residences but that may be about it at the beginning. Of course this may not happen at all.
 

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We had our three trips planned this year, two with extended family and one for a big anniversary, all three Ver seas. All are cancelled, and we won’t even begin to think about planning until this is more settled.

I do think plane travel will be changed as we know it with fairs either increasing and/or airlines closing. The idea of the cheap fair will be much rarer. Business travel will be reduced which was a major component of others having cheaper fairs. We normally run in person workshops with 4-6 consultants flying in from various parts of Canada/US, I just ran the workshop virtually. It was harder than in person, but then when we calculated the savings of the travel expenses and in person expenses it was about $30-40k. Our CEO friend normally makes Over 100 flights a year has been doing everything virtually. He has no intention of flying between the four offices for a while and doesn’t expect his staff too either.

Without these business flights keeping the airline going, the cost will need to be distributed to the more casual flyer. I don’t think it’s going to be a 33% increase on a discount fair, it will more likely be a 50% increase on more ‘normal’ price fairs.

There are still two large international trips I wanted to take my kids before they leave home for school (about 4 years). I hope we can do at least one of them. We had budgeted $50k for each but now we think it will be a lot more and have started to put aside more for that. I doubt most people would plan that fair ahead and be willing to pay that much. Family travel is already expensive.
 

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Another possibility is that we could get widespread deflation. There's already a significant drop in economic activity and we might get a drop in other things, such as housing, goods & services.

With broad deflation, it's possible that ticket prices won't go up. No way to know at the moment as these are broad economic themes, and nobody knows how this will play out.
 

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Discussion Starter #205
While airfares are one factor to be considered, there are others that are just as important.

Will you travel if you cannot get medical coverage for Covid-19? Having to pay for your hospitalization in a foreign country can be very costly.

Will Canada lift the quarantine on travellers including returning Canadians? If not, someone who has to work for a living will face another 2 weeks off work in quarantine. How much vacation time can they take or afford?

I also agree with Plugging Along that business travel subsidizes vacation travel to a large extent and there may well be less of that as people have now found they can cope quite well virtually.
 

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We are watching flights to Greece in Sept/Oct.

We did this last year. Doubt whether we will go this fall. Economy seats. Toronto-Athens return booked today is less expensive that it was when we shopped last year. Last year it was just under $1100. Booked today it would be $800-$1,000. We shopped this fare but decided to do an open jaw return from London because we were not exactly sure where we would end up by the time we were ready to come home.

The open jaw that we eventually booked was Toronto- Athens, London-Calgary. Same time of year Sept/Oct. Same airline...Transat. Last year the fare was $740. Booked today that fare is $860. Last year we booked in August for a Sept flight. We looked at the fare a few days prior to our departure last year and it was the same price.

Who knows what the price will be if we go. And if we do go, we will probably not book until a week or so prior to departure. If not, perhaps the spring.

We have also been looking at Calgary-Bangkok return fares mid Jan-mid March. Fares at the present time, economy, are very much in line with the past several winters. Various carriers. $1050-1150. In prior years we have seem them as low a $800. They can be a little more volatile.

Then again....we could be doing staycations for the next 18-24 months. Who really knows at this point in time???
 

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Discussion Starter #207
We are watching flights to Greece in Sept/Oct.

We did this last year. Doubt whether we will go this fall. Economy seats. Toronto-Athens return booked today is less expensive that it was when we shopped last year. Last year it was just under $1100. Booked today it would be $805. We shopped this fare but decided to do an open jaw return from London because we were not exactly sure where we would end up.

The open jaw that we eventually booked was Toronto- Athens, London-Calgary. Same time of year Sept/Oct. Same airline...Transat. Last year the fare was $740. Booked today that fare is $860. Last year we booked in August for a Sept flight. We looked at the fare a few days prior to our departure last year and it was the same.

Who knows what the price will be if you go. And if we do go, we will probably not book until a week or so prior to departure. If not, perhaps the spring.

We have also been looking at Calgary-Bangkok return fares mid Jan-mid March. Fares at the present time, economy, are very much in line with the past several winters. Various carriers. $1050-1150
Greece has done very well in terms of containing the virus ian and as I have posted here before, in some places (islands) they have not even had one positive case since day one.

However, I would suggest you consider the other possibilities. Insurance and the ability to return home. Remember, when the pandemic struck and numbers started to climb, ALL flights by Air Transat and others, were suddenly cancelled with no alternatives offered. In the event of a second waver starting up, that could happen again.

Currently, it looks like if you fly from Canada to Athens, you will face a mandatory test and overnight stay in Athens until the test results come back. Then if you test negative you would be allowed to travel on to Crete but must then self-isolate for 7 days there. If you test positive, you will face mandatory quarantine for 14 days in Athens.

Another factor to consider is what will you be doing when you get there? It will not be a question of everything is open and there being no restrictions.
Somehow sitting on a beach with plexiglass screens all around me does not hold much appeal. Or if I think about Rhodes where I used to live, I cannot imagine somewhere like Lindos being allowed to operate as in the past, with narrow streets of tourist shops, bars and restaurants jammed with people. While bars and restaurants will be open, it will not be as before, distancing restrictions will still apply. Given their response to the virus so far, I would expect any outbreak would result in a quick shut down of the area.

If the plan is to get there and stay in a self-catering type of accommodation with little interaction with other people, then that might be OK, but as a past resident, I have to say that a big part of enjoying the Greek culture is the evenings spent in a restaurant/bar meeting other travellers and locals. I wouldn't want to visit Rhodes for example if I couldn't do that. When I think about what I would do if I were willing to go, pretty much everything would be very limited. It just wouldn't be the same at all.
 

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Both. Island hopping plus a week or two of self catering on Crete in a fairly remote area. We might also hop over to Cyprus for a week or two. Absolutely no interest in the likes of Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, etc. Too touristy and we prefer other less crowded islands. We have spent lots of time in Greece on past trips so we have a good idea of where we would go and what it would be like. We get feedback from a few locals who live there and from our UK friends who are frequent visitors and who have lots of contracts in Greece.

The overnight stay, or a few days longer is not an issue for us. We would stay in Glyfada. Less crowded. Easy access to the airport and to the ferries. Early days yet. If the fall does not work, just post Othodox Easter might.
 

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Discussion Starter #209
Both. Island hopping plus a week or two of self catering on Crete in a fairly remote area. We might also hop over to Cyprus for a week or two. Absolutely no interest in the likes of Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, etc. Too touristy and we prefer other less crowded islands. We have spent lots of time in Greece on past trips so we have a good idea of where we would go and what it would be like. We get feedback from a few locals who live there and from our UK friends who are frequent visitors and who have lots of contracts in Greece.

The overnight stay, or a few days longer is not an issue for us. We would stay in Glyfada. Less crowded. Easy access to the airport and to the ferries. Early days yet. If the fall does not work, just post Othodox Easter might.
My point ian is what will you be DOING wherever you are? I unashamedly will proclaim I love Greece and Greek culture and lifestyle. But when I think about if I were to visit in the near future at all, I really don't see how I would enjoy it.

It's difficult to explain but I think perhaps the word 'atmosphere' sums it up. It simply wouldn't have that atmosphere this year. It can't when restrictions have to remain in place. I think about an example of an evening when a group of a dozen or so locals and visitors sit around having a drink before dinner in a bar owned by a friend of mine. Then after some discussion, a choice is made and we all go off to a restaurant, sit as a group at tables pushed together and plate after plate of 'mezes' is brought to be shared by all. There is an atmosphere that you enjoy that you could not get if you have to sit at separate tables, order only your own food, etc.

I might be able to do some 'touristy' things like visit an ancient site or whatever but I would not be able to enjoy Greek life in the way I have come to know it. I have the same thoughts when it comes to thinking of anywhere I might visit this year. It won't be the same and it will I'm pretty sure, be disappointing in that regard.
 

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If we make a decision to go I am confident that we will figure it out and have a good time. We are hardly going to hit the buy button if we do not feel that it is safe or that we will not enjoy it. This is not our first rodeo.
 

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Discussion Starter #211
If we make a decision to go I am confident that we will figure it out and have a good time. We are hardly going to hit the buy button if we do not feel that it is safe or that we will not enjoy it. This is not our first rodeo.
I understand that ian, I just don't see how the 'enjoy' part is going to work given current conditions. It's not much fun if you can't do the things you would normally want to do.

On another aspect, we are still under a travel advisory to 'avoid all unnecessary travel'. If that is still the case come September, will you be willing to ignore it? Also, what about insurance if it will not cover Covid?

I am still of the thinking that travel is just not going to be viable until we have a cure or a vaccine. There will continue to be restrictions that will keep me 'feeling it is not safe or enjoyable.'
 

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Discussion Starter #212
The EU has now finalized its first 15 country list that they advise their member countries they can allow travellers to entr from. It's an advisory and each member country is free to make their own decisions as to which of them they will accept travellers from and with what restrictions.

At the same time, Canada has again extended the mandatory 14 day quarantine for all travellers entering Canada, including returning Canadians. The airlines will obviously not be happy with that decision.

I'm beginning to wonder just how many airlines worldwide will still exist say 2 years from now.
 

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Of course we will not ignore a health related advisory. We cut our Mexico winter escape short by one-two weeks in order to fly back to Canada on March 19. And we had no issue whatsoever with self isolation for 14 plus days. Our big surprise....there were empty seats on our direct flight home despite the Government warnings/advice. We thought that the flight would be sold out.

As an aside, I agree about airlines and many other businesses. Which is why we would never book or pay for any travel product until we were on top of the date. Ditto for retail and restaurant gift certificates, pre loaded retailer cards, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #214
Airbus has just announced 15,000 job cuts. They don't expect to be selling planes anytime soon obviously.

Air Canada says they expect it to take them 3 years to get back to near 'normal'. I think they are being pretty optimistic. A lot of people are not likely to fly no matter what the airlines say, until there is a cure or vaccine.

My older son has just told me that his office will not be re-opening until at least March 31. His employer had a lot of business related travel and that remains at zero. I think business travel will be far less no matter what happens after this.

Dr. Fauci has just said that if the USA keeps it up, they will hit 100,000 per DAY in new cases. There is no way that if they reach that rate, we will not get 'spillover' into Canada. There is certainly no way we could open the border, so no travel to there.
 
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